Sunday, August 29, 2010


As of late, this has been my training for this years Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival.  I pedal the bike and then go cut a truck load of firewood...except for today where as I played in a golf tournament and then cut firewood.  I am old, not fast and fortunate enough to know this, so with that being said, this is as serious as I can get for this event.  My goal this year...have some fun and FINISH it.  Don't care how long it takes me, just cross the finish line on two wheels or two feet.  I think I am not asking for much.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

More Gravel'in

Early in the summer I had checked out a new route to the cabin using gravel/sand roads as much as possible.  I knew the mountain bike would be the one to ride, as there are some very sandy areas.  With the amount of rain we have received this last month or so, I also knew it was there for the taking.  So with that in mind I headed out.
I rode the Giant Anthem mountain bike because of the 2.1" tires and the amount of sand roads I needed to ride.  I had intentions when I started out that I would be walking some of it, but with the recent rainfalls, it was sweeeeet! ! !

When there are puddles like this standing in sand country, you know we have had rain.

This is where the St. Croix River crosses the St. Croix Trail.  There are normally rocks one needs to navigate while in a canoe in this section of the river...not today.  Point the way and enjoy the ride.

It is very seldom I use the granny, but I have to admit to using it on this ride.
I did see a few bear hunters on these scenic back roads.  The season isn't open yet, but they are allowed to practice using their dogs.  They run the bear with their dogs until the bear is tree'd, then call them off.  In a couple of weeks the bear will not be so lucky, as there will be a loud boom if it gets tree'd again. 

One our local trout streams...could be some very difficult fishing now.

One thing about riding near rivers in this area is...there is nice down hill going to the river, but a person must pay the piper when one climbs back out the other side.

The Perkins trail has some hills too.

I feel very lucky to have gotten this ride in.  It registered at the end to be 47+ miles with 1200 ft of climb, and I know I can easily add another 25 with the right conditions.  Another goooood time.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gravel Weekend

I made a nice gravel ride this weekend to the family cabin.  Logged about 47 miles of mostly gravel and sand roads.  I will load up some pics later as it is nearing my bed time and I just got in the house now from a busy weekend. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Single Trackin' Fun

On our way back from Mellen, we stopped by the Makwa mountain bike trail head east of Seeley.  The trails in this area are made and maintained by CAMBA.  Although I do not actively work on these trails, I am a card carrying member.  The CAMBA trail network is phenomenal.  Click the CAMBA to find out more.  The Makwa is in my opinion, by far more fun to ride than any trail I have been on.  It has some flow sections that are unreal...then leading into more technical sections on the southern most end before it meets up the Hatchery Trail.  I dropped off at the trail head and rode the Makwa and the Hatchery.  We treated this ride like a canoe trip, where as Janice dropped me off at one point and picked me up at another.  When I finished up, the Garmin registered 15.87 miles of point A to point B of pure single track fun.   

The flow sections are fantastic and are the most fun for me.

Along the trail sits this picnic table with a rather unique cooker.

This is new since the last time I was here, and I almost missed it, as there was alternate route around this.  I am glad I took the right turn.

I made this ride late in the afternoon with the finishing temp at 94 and the humidity very high, much like the last ride I was on.  One of the disadvantages of riding it when I did, other than the temp, was the fact that I was finishing into the sun when the technical sections came up.  It isn't that it is that technical, but there are some minor rock gardens that made it very difficult to see the lines...that and the rocks were wet and slippery from the high humidity.  It was indeed fun and I would do it all over again. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Copper Falls

On our way back from the U.P., we stopped in at Copper Falls State Park at the northeastern corner of Wisco.  It must the year of the falls for us, as we have visited many.  With the temps in the mid 90's and the humidity the worst I have seen, smart me decided on a mountain bike ride.  There need to be hills to have water falls of any size, and the mtb trails here used them there hills, as the picture above proves out.
Rough terrain...really???

We saw this little critter while we were both on a walk.

The water here is starting downhill.

And...A little more downhill action.

A double whammy here.

One more from a distance.

The walking trail runs along both sides of the river, so to get to the other side, there are 100 of these rock made steps on one side and 125 on the other.  If you stay around these steps long, you will be witness to what kind of shape people are in. 

After the walk and bike ride, we decided to head southwest about 25 miles to the little town of Clam Lake, WI. to see if we could spot any Elk.  Wisconsin started an Elk reintroduction
in 1995.  We stopped at the gas station in town to see if we could get some local info on where we may spot some.  The nice gentleman give us the name of a couple roads to check.  We spotted 2 bulls and 1 cow on our journey on the back country roads.  There is one in the picture above, if you look close enough.

Another bull elk...this one was collared with a radio transmitter.  Not a big one, but a good close up view.  We didn't get good pictures of the others as it was getting dark when we spotted them.
Back to the ride...It wasn't a long ride, but I rode hard and with the temps and humidity, it kicked back.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yooper Tourist

It is only 100 miles from our place to the U.P. of Michigan, so we decided to play tourist there recently.  There are some very scenic places and also some very desolate areas, which of course are not hard on the eyes either. The photo above is of a lift bridge in Houghton.  As a side note, this bridge appears to be more complicated, and probably newer, than the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth.
Somewhere near Michigamme, the Peshekee Grade road headed northwest and we decided to follow it.  This is a remote road with out a doubt.  It started with rough blacktop and ended with sand the width of one vehicle.  It followed Peshekee river for miles.  I decided to ride the mountain bike back out to the main road.  Good choice!  It was about a 15 mile ride and Janice wasn't waiting long at the end.  As I said earlier, it was a rough road.

This the wider part of the gravel on Peshekee Grade.

The blacktop portion of this road was not as smooth as this picture shows...must have been a good section.

We stopped and played some golf at the Gogebic Country Club in Ironwood MI.  These critters...Whitetail Deer...have obviously been around people as we were
very close to them. 

This fawn had to check this pine.  Chances are it better acquire a taste for it because some of their winter diet will consist of it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Important People

These are the folks responsible for my being. They worked hard, very hard, to provide for us as we were growing up. They provided me with bicycles, as well as many other toys...and some had motors. I mentioned the bicycles because this is a bicycle blog, but it has been getting mushy the last two posts...oh weelll. With age comes wisdom and I can tell you something I have learned, I was not an easy one to raise. If I was to say I was a hellion, it would be an understatement. Is hellion a word?  Well, you know what I mean.  I owe them more than I can repay. I have truly been blessed to have these people as my parents. We have been neighbors for more than the last 20 years and I feel blessed again. It is not often that your parents are your neighbors and are also your best friends.  I Love You Mom and Dad ! !

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary

This picture was taken 34 years ago today.  If I could go back in time, the same picture would be taken again.  August  7, 1976 at 2:00 PM.  I didn't get permission from the people in these pictures to blog'em up, so I hope they don't mind...and that includes my wife Janice...hope you don't mind either.   

"My beloved is mine and I am hers"
Love You

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gooooood Time

As we said in an earlier post, this past weekend we did a family camping trip to Amnicon Falls State Park near Superior WI. Our youngest son is marrying in October and his fiancĂ©e works here, so her family and ours got together for a weekend of fun...and it was much fun...I think I gained 5 lbs over the weekend. We did a lot of our cooking in Dutch Ovens, and what wasn't cooked that way, the rest was cooked on the camp stove. There is something about cooking outdoors that makes the food even better. We had sour dough biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs, Peach and Strawberry cobbler, burgers and fresh fire fried potatoes, venison hot dish with salad and fruit, homemade Maple Nut Ice cream, Blueberry pancakes with bacon, toast and homemade jam and lots of other snacks. One 19 mile bike ride could not offset the massive amounts of food I ate this weekend...Tough! ! A goooood time was had.

I have been to the park a couple times, but this was the first time I really explored the area. One thing of note is that we have had several good rainfalls as of late, so the falls had an ample supply of water to fall. There are numerous falls in this area of the Amnicon River...too many to count.  It was some of the best scenery I have witnessed. I over a lady making her first trip to the park comment "The beauty here just never ends," and she was right. I have a very cheap camera I use for the bike bog stuff, so the pictures may leave some to be desired, but I am loading a bunch up anyway.  This photo above is Snake Pit falls and is one of the two falls some do the jump. It is illegal to the tune of $248.and some change.  

A person can crawl around the rocks as much as one likes, and there are a lot of rocks, but no jumping. 

Do not let anyone tell you these Anti Gravity chairs aren't comfortable as this was proved out when the evening turned to near morning.

Many people exchange their vows on The Horton Covered Bridge which crosses over the river between the Upper and Lower falls.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Amnicon Falls Family Camping

We made a family camping trip to Amnicon Falls State Park here in up-north Wisco.  A good time was had by all, I think.  More on that later this week as today post involves some biking.  I made a 19 miler Saturday morning which pales in comparison to the nice young ladies in the above picture.  We stopped and chatted them up this morning while we were on a walk.  They will be completing a long journey within the next few days.  They are almost home from their trip around Lake Superior...AKA The Circle Tour, and for those who don't know how far that is...1300 miles.  These were very pleasant nice young ladies to talk to.  When I see anybody biking with camping gear with them, I make it a point to talk to them.  I admire someone who gets out and does it.  My little 19 miles was still fun, as I explored area I have never ridden before.  

I started from our campsite here at the park.
I passed this windmill along the way.  To prove how a person sees more on a bicycle, or walking for that matter, I have been by here numerous times in an automobile, I had never stopped until today on the bike. 
Website listed under sign.

Nice scenery along the way.

Passed a few farms also.

Mixed in about 5 or 6 miles of gravel at the end.  A good time was had.